August 7, 2022

Strawberry jam

Show me a good sale on frozen foods and it's a pretty good bet I'm going to grab a few bags. A couple of weeks ago, the local grocery had a buy two get one free offer on sliced strawberries - and they were at a sale price to boot! So I got some and tossed them into my already crowded freezer with the intention of making jam as soon as I had time. 

It's time to make time for some of those projects. I've been freezing Roma tomatoes, too, and space in the freezer is now at a premium. This morning I decided to make the strawberry jam. 

I remember as a small child "helping" my maternal great-grandmother make jams and jellies. I'd sit in her kitchen and watch as she turned hot mashed fruit into jelly. When it was time to harvest elderberries, I held the basket for her as she snipped off clusters of ripe berries. Grandma used a jelly bag made from feed sacks to strain the juice from the pulp, and then I got to "help" give the pulp to the chickens. I have so many rose-colored memories of Grandma, and now being older, I realize how hard her life really was compared to our lives today. So much less complicated, too. 

While Grandma had to pick her own strawberries, the process, for me, is easier. I open the bags and empty the contents into a saucepan. My preferred method to make jams and jellies is to follow the Sure Jell pectin recipes. Sure Jell has never let me down and it came through again this morning. Five cups of mashed strawberries, one envelope of Sure Jell, and seven cups of white sugar. Yes, seven cups. It seems like a lot but jams and jellies are consumed in small amounts so I don't angst over it. 

I ended up with nine half-pints of jam, which will probably last two years. We might border the Southland, but we don't serve biscuits at every meal. We go weeks at a stretch without using jam or jelly, but when it's time for some, homemade is the very best! 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, a writer's life, strawberry jam, Sure Jell pectin, home food preservation, home canning, simple country pleasures, rural lifestyle, country living, live simply, family heritage, pantry building

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